Friday, 11 April 2014
She sits alone in a concrete hall, shared with the public and defaced in the name of some kind of post-modern inner city art. She calls to me as a pair of squealing teens clumsily jam their fingers into her keys with what sounds like a rendition of a preschool tune that everyone knows.
I wince. An instrument like this would’ve been played by more deserving hands in the years gone by, not wasted on electronic keyboard ditties.
I’m many years past my best, but there are four songs that I can say are still deeply engraved into my soul. I lean into her with one that I haven’t dared to recite in more than 12 years – La fille aux cheveux de lin – and her majesty brought time to a halt. These were echoes of a world long past, written in a city half a world away.
The few who asked me what they’d just listened to were given a very simple answer – Claude Debussy, The Girl with the Flaxen Hair. For most everyone else, I’d merely given more value to this humiliating shopping mall novelty.
I used to be surrounded by classical musicians who put my knowledge to shame.
This just makes me depressed.